City Council approves purchase of North Austin hotel to house homeless
KVUE — The Austin City Council voted Thursday to approve the purchase of the Candlewood Suites hotel to house the homeless.
The hotel will cost the City $9.5 million. This comes as the city council recently voted to buy the Texas Bungalows Hotel and Suites in North Austin for up to $6.5 million.
The vote to purchase the 83-bedroom hotel was approved by a vote of 10-1, with Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly casting the lone vote against.
"There shouldn't be sides to a conversation about humanity," said Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison. "Austin is a big city now. We've got big problems that require big solutions ... I think we have to unite as the one Austin we claim to be and tackle trouble in every corner of our city."
Mayor Steve Adler said the hotel would not be a shelter, but an apartment complex. Councilmember Ann Kitchen added that services would be included, saying one of the homeless service providers would be behind it.
"This housing saves lives. It will help us get hundreds of people out of tents and into housing," added Councilmember Greg Casar. "We all have to pull together as a city to address homelessness, and that’s why we’ve purchased hotels in four districts now, including my own. These hotels will not only be homes for people, but will also provide services like job aid, health care, mental health resources, and more, and it’s only possible because of the transformative budget we passed last year."
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